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Everything that happened at the Microsoft E3 conference

microsoft e3 press conference

EA kicked off the E3 conferences yesterday with EA Play Hollywood and now it’s onto Microsoft, who  thankfully announced a slew of new games. It’s a good job, too, as the only major game that we knew about heading into the conference was Crackdown 3. 

Personally, I was hoping for news on Age of Empires 4 (which didn’t happen), a new Halo (which did – and will it be getting on the battle royale craze?), and confirmation of the rumoured to be in development Fable 4 (which we sadly saw no sign of).

For our comprehensive rundown of E3 2018 have a read of hub page.

Microsoft kicks off in style with the teasing reveal of Halo: Infinite. You’ll once again be back in the well-worn boots of the Master Chief. It looks like you’ve crash landed on an alien planet with at least a small group of UNSC marines.

There are no details really on show in this trailer. The environments are vast so maybe open world? It’s build in a new Slip Space engine, but what that is capable of is unclear. And, whether the game will include a large-scale multiplayer as was rumoured is unclear, too.

Phil Spencer takes the stage and starts big. Microsoft is bringing 50 games to the show this year, 18 of them exclusives. This was essential for Microsoft after cancelling and delaying many of its biggest Xbox titles over the past two years.

We move straight into the trailers.Ori and the Will of the Wisps looks delightful:

Now onto a world premiere, it’s FromSoftware’s new game,Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. It looks utterly captivating, a Japanese samurai-inspired third-person action game. You have a grappling hook and that’s enough for me.

Not letting up, as soon as the trailer finishes, Bethesda’s Todd Howard comes on stage to show the first look at Fallout 76. The game will be set in West Virginia and will be four times the size of Fallout 4.

And another world premiere. It’s a new game from Dontnod set in the Life is Strange universe. Looks like you’ll be playing a young boy with an active imagination. It’s calledThe Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit.

Then onto some Metro Exodus gameplay:

This Crackdown 3 trailer, as fun as it looks, isn’t really doing anything new. There are mechs – which I’m all for – but really I just want to see the promised world destruction, which wasn’t on show in the trailer.

Kingdom Hearts 3 next – it has Frozen and Tangled in there now – still no PC confirmation, though:

Onto a firm office favourite: Sea of Thieves. A doom-laden trailer reveals there are two expansions coming to the pirate game this summer.

Finally, back to Phil and a bit of a breather.

Oh, hello, it’s time for Forza Horizon 4. It was rumoured to be set in Japan, but that was way off – it’s set in Britain. An utterly lovely trailer shows off beautiful countryside and cars like the London taxi cab and a range rover. (There are some sports cars, too, just in case you were worried). One of the big features of this new Forza is that it has dynamically changing seasons. October 2 is the release date.

Back to Spencer. Thank God, this pace is killing our news team. He’s announcing that Microsoft is opening a new studio, The Initiative, and that it has acquired State of Decay developer Undead Labs, as well as Playground Games and Ninja Theory. These are huge acquisitions for Microsoft. Oh, go on, Phil, buy another studio. Microsoft has also bought Compulsion Games, makers of We Happy Few.

Here’s a pleasant trailer for We Happy Few:

The big news for us here at the office is a trailer for PUBG’s map, not because it has lots of news, but because finally we have some fresh artwork to use as header images. Scratch that, we got a glimpse of a wintry snow map. Footprints, people! Think of the implications.

Tales of Vesperia is getting a remaster:

Now we’re onto The Division 2’s world premiere. We know the game is set in Washington DC and it will take place in summer, six months after the outbreak began. The teaser trailer moves into gameplay. The world looks almost like a tropical jungle – it’s so overgrown. The gameplay centers around a gun battle fighting around Air Force One and we see players shoot off the armour of their enemies.

(It’s no car door shutting, but when one of the players takes cover behind a fence, the plastic bottles perched on top topple over.)

Microsoft is talking up everything that is coming to Xbox Games Pass. What this means for us on PC is unclear. Games like Phoenix Point are clearly going to be big on PC but whether we will get the same access as Xbox owners isn’t certain. Here is the list of games announced, though:

Outer Wilds, After Party, Kingdom 2 Crowns, The Gold Club 2019, Fringe Wars, Below, Conqueror’s Vlade, Waking, Raji an Ancient Epic, Super Meat Boy Forever, Planet Alpha, Islands of Nyne, Sable, Harold Halibut, Bomber Crew, Children of Morta, The Wind Road, Wargroove, Generation Zero, Dead Cells, and Ashen.

Now onto Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Lara in peril. She does get into tough spots, doesn’t she?

It’s not Skate 4 but Session looks like it will fulfill all our skateboarding nostalgia.

Now this is more my speed: Devil May Cry 5. Nero is back, and with only one arm. It all looks gloriously bloody.

Another hard-as-nails game follows, Cuphead. It looks like it’s getting an expansion – The Delicious Last Course:

This is followed by delightful looking indie Tunic. The game follows a small fox on a big adventure. That sounds sappy but it made us melt a little watching it. Check out the trailer:

Phil Spencer is back again, saying that everything until the end of the show will be world premieres… You’re killing us here Phil. Killing us.

First up: Jump Force. This looks like a game for anime fans:

Next: Dying Light 2. And Chris Avellone is presenting for it? This is going to be a fascinating game, they describe it as a modern dark age. The world will change based on how you progress through the game and complete missions for the peacekeepers – a group who are protecting humanity from the dead but with a hard fist. You can also choose to help a group who will trade water on the black market.

And now a game no one was expecting: a new BattleToads. Yes, really.

Following only the briefest of teasers we’re onto the good stuff: Just Cause 4. It has tornadoes and it looks utterly great:

And now, to make your heart shrivel, Gears Pop, a mobile Gears of War game with Funko Pops instead of normal characters. But, wait, stop don’t skip out to hurl. There is also a new game,Gears Tactics, an XCOM take on Gears of War for the PC. But there’s still more Gears with the full-blooded Gears of War 5 announcement.

It looks like Microsoft is starting to wrap up this conference. It’s been an incredibly hectic show with absolutely tons of announcements. 50 games. 50! No news on Fable 4, which is a little sad, but I can’t wait to get climbing in Dying Light 2, and Gears of War Tactics, and…

Wait, we’re not done. It’s a new Cyberpunk 2077 trailer. The CD Projekt RED game has been quietly in development for years and all we’ve seen until now is a teaser trailer. This new footage shows off the futuristic city in detail:

Ok, now we’re actually at the end of the conference. Everyone on the news team looks set to have a little stress cry and I might join them. Well done, Microsoft, that was quite the show.